Coalition to push for paid parental leave

By Kate Shuttleworth

Ms Moroney's Paid Parental Leave Bill would extend leave from 14 to 26 weeks by four weeks a year over three years. Photo / Thinkstock
Ms Moroney's Paid Parental Leave Bill would extend leave from 14 to 26 weeks by four weeks a year over three years. Photo / Thinkstock

The campaign to extend paid parental leave is being pushed by a coalition called 26 for Babies, which was launched at Parliament today.

The coalition to extend paid parental leave from 14 weeks to 26 is backed by child and parent advocates, breast feeding organisations, health bodies, and representatives of women and working women.

Spokeswoman Deborah Morris-Travers said there is community-wide support for extending paid parental leave.

"Every parent and grandparent knows that 14 weeks is very early to be sending babies out into he world, and that we should do more to support families to care for their babies at home in the early months of life,'' she said.

"We congratulate all the MPs who voted to pass Sue's bill [Labour's Sue Moroney] at its first reading.''

The coalition would make a submission at the select committee.

The Green Party said they supported the 26 for Babies coalition campaign and a call for the Government to reconsider its bid to financially veto the bill to extend paid parental leave.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said paid parental leave was great for babies and great for parents.

"If we put the wellbeing of kids first then policies like paid parental leave are a no brainier,'' she said.

The Green Party policy is for 13 months of paid parental leave.

The bill passed its first reading in Parliament last night by a vote of 61 to 60 and would be debated in a select committee.

- APNZ

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